Last week we camped out at snowy Interlochen, where spring has not yet sprung, for a Reich Festival featuring Drumming, Sextet, and Music for 18 Musicians. Drumming was performed entirely by students (except for the vocals) who were coached throughout the year by our Matthew and Rob Dillon from Third Coast Percussion. The result was a riveting and very professional performance, which got all sorts of whoops and hollers from the audience. The next night we performed Sextet and Music for 18 Musicians with Third Coast Percussion, Quince, and a few guests, our very own Alex Monroe and Justin Peters included. These days, Reich is always a slam-dunk hit. As I was experiencing Drumming, I was struggling to imagine what a rough road it was for Steve Reich at the beginning. I find the sounds and rhythms exciting, upbeat, meditative, and not at all boring. In fact, it was over before I realized it. I felt like I could hear it all over again, right then and there. But I guess I’m biased.
I have a hard time imagining attending a school like Interlochen because so much of my education through high school was completely separated from my music life. It seems like summer camp all year round. That’s sort of a good thing, since my closest friends were made during intense summer camp experiences, but also a weird thing, because I’m not sure I’d want to be at summer camp all the time and not see my family. I wonder how my musical development would have been affected by being around like-minded and talented musicians throughout high school instead of having it be this thing I did outside of school. There’s no question that it nurtures extraordinary talent and excellence, and I think for Matthew, who is an alum, Interlochen holds a very special place in his heart.